The Porsche 914
The Porsche 914, introduced in September 1969, is a sporty, mid-engined two-seater with a targa top and a 4 cylinder boxer engine. The idea for the 914 originated in the mid-sixties, when the presidents of VW and Porsche collaberated on an idea to produce a new sports car for each of their companies. Volkswagen wanted a new, sportier model to replace the Karmann-Ghia, and Porsche would also use the car, but with all the components being from the 911.
VW would take 914 bodies and finish them as 914/4s, and Porsche would take their portion of the body shells, and build 914/6s. When sold in North America, however, all 914s would be considered Porsches.
Great looking 1970 914-6
When looking at a 914, you don't see the likeness of any other Porsches. The big round headlights and long, sloping rear were gone. 914's have the pop-up headlamps, and a vertical rear windshield, with a flat decklid covering the rear trunk and engine. The 914's have absolutely NO backseats--the firewall is pressed against your back. When you sit down, you're practically sitting on the floorboard, which is practically the road. The interior is rather spartan, quite simple, but with all the necessities. The big tach is still there, as in all the 911/912's. The transmission is like the 928's with 1st down and to the left. The steering is pretty tight, and the suspension is hard--the car rides so low. Other than the passenger seat, there's not much more in the cockpit. The 914 has a targa top, like 911's that stores in the trunk. You take it off, roll down the windows, and you've got a nice little roadster.
Specifications for the 1970-76 914-4
horizontally opposed flat-4 cylinder, mid-mounted 1.7, 1.8, or 2.0L engine
Bore and Stroke: 90x66mm; 93x66mm; 94x71mm
Displacement:1.7L (1679cc); 1.8L (1795cc); 2.0L (1971cc)
Horsepower: 80 (1.7L), 79 (1.8L), 95 (2.0L)*
Compression ratio: 8.2:1 ; 7.3:1 ; 7.6:1
5 speed manual transmission
Independent front with lower control arms, spring struts, anti-roll bar
Independent rear, with semi-trailing arms, transverse torsion bars, anti-roll bar
Curb weight: 2,892 lbs
Track front/rear: 58.2"/57.1"
Ground clearance: 4.9"
Brakes and Wheels:
mpg (city) mpg (hwy)
The 914-4 (boxer 4) has a nice little engine, though. My favorite is probably a 1973 2.0L. Over the years Porsche offered 1.7, 1.8, and 2.0L engines. The 2.0 has good power and a good rpm band. It is a lot of fun to wind that little engine out in each gear, the sound is great, too. It's suprising how fast you can get up without realizing it.
The 914-6, assembled almost entirely at the Porsche factory, had a very
short life with only about 3360 examples produced between 1970 and 1972. All base sixes came with a 2.0 l flat six motor similar to that found in the
1969 911T. Porsche went with the 2.0 litre motor as opposed to the new 2.2
now found throughout the 911 range in order to maintain a distinction
between the "cheaper" 914 model line and the upscale 911s. Additional
characteristics unique to the sixes included: larger 911 brakes and
five-bolt wheel hubs; a larger brake master cylinder; front suspension
transplanted directly from the 911 model line; guages calibrated to the
higher performance six cylinder engine;
a 911 - based steering column; dual Weber carburetors; electric windshield
washer; different gear ratios in the transmission, and an assortment of
A handful of 914-6 GTs was also produced in this time period, the actual
number of which is still uncertain. These cars typically were given higher
performance 911 - based engines and corresponding suspension tweaks in order to compete on the race track. Most also had the fender flares similar to those of the 916. A high point was a class win at Le Mans in 1970 and 6th overall in the race.
The performance of the 914-6 can best be described as agile. They are quick
in acceleration and exhibit handling and braking characteristics
considerably superior to those of the 911 of the period due to the
mid-engine design. Driving feel is very similar to that of the 914-4s but
with an extra punch especially in the upper r.p.m. range.
The 914 is a cool little Porsche to own, but you MUST be careful about the condition of one if you're buying. The #1 problem of the 914 is it's battery. It tends to corrode quite easily, since rain comes in right on top of it through the engine vent. Acid will drip down, eat up the battery tray, and then fall right onto the chassis. Rust damage will be abundant in un-cared for 914's.
Nice example of the final version of the 914
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